Dozens of bills were filed in the 88th Texas Legislature that would impact higher education institutions statewide if passed. Legislation must pass through both the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives to reach Gov. Greg Abbott before becoming law. The regular session is set to end May 29. Bill statuses are as of April 27.

Senate Bill 15 (Sen. Mayes Middleton, R-Galveston)
  • This bill requires college students to compete on sports teams based on their sex assigned at birth. If the bill becomes law, transgender women would not be able to join women’s sports teams, and transgender men would not be able to join men’s sports teams.
  • Latest action: Scheduled for public hearing in the Texas House on May 1
Senate Bill 17 (Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe)
  • The intent of this bill is to prohibit offices of diversity, equity and inclusion at institutions of higher education. Colleges and universities would also not be able to require diversity, equity and inclusion statements in the hiring or admissions process.
  • Latest action: Texas House received from the Senate on April 20
Senate Bill 25 (Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham)
  • To help combat a statewide nursing shortage, nurses who also serve as part-time faculty for nursing degree programs at institutions of higher education would be eligible for loan repayment assistance if this bill were to become law. Full-time faculty already qualify for assistance.
  • Latest action: Referred to Texas House’s higher education committee on April 13
Senate Bill 411 (Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney)
  • Student health centers at colleges and universities would be required to provide certain pregnancy-related information in printed format and via QR code if this bill became law. This would also include information about abortion and its associated medical risks, according to the legislation.
  • Latest action: Co-author Sen. Morgan LaMantia, D-South Padre Island, was approved March 21 following the referral to the subcommittee on higher education Feb. 15.
Senate Bill 2194 (Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio)
  • If passed, this bill would promote racial equity in higher education hiring and promotion practices. Institutions would be required to develop a five-year plan to increase faculty diversity, including strategies to have staff diversity reflect that of the student population.
  • Latest action: Referred to the subcommittee on higher education on March 22
House Bill 68 (Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock)
  • This bill would require state entities to notify high school students in the foster care system they are exempt from tuition and fees for dual-credit courses. These entities would also automatically enroll eligible students in the state college tuition waiver program.
  • Latest action: Referred to Texas House’s higher education committee on Feb. 23
House Bill 584 (Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake)
  • This bill would establish an information technology credential program to be offered at public community colleges to help address certain workforce shortages. The program would equip students for entry-level information technology positions in state agencies.
  • Latest action: Referred to the Texas Senate’s subcommittee on higher education on April 5
House Bill 906 (Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso)
  • This bill would edit the Texas Education Code to require higher education institutions to provide new students information regarding mental health and suicide prevention resources available to them. This information would include early warning signs a person considering suicide may exhibit.
  • Latest action: Texas House passed to engrossment on April 26